IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Exploring the historical imagination: literacy, experience and life writing

14 March 2023, 5:45 pm–7:30 pm

Person hand picking book from bookshelf. Image by WavebreakmediaMicro / Adobe Stock.

Join this event to explore the practice of literacy and learning in diverse settings.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Prof Tom Woodin


Room C3.12
20 Bedford Way

This event will explore the complex nature of fact and fiction, literacy and experience, historical sources and the use of imagination as a means of understanding social change by looking at Ursula Howard's new book, Bessie Quinn, Survivor Spirit.

This session will include presentations from recent research projects which have examined the practice of literacy and learning in diverse settings. It will feature three presentations:  

  • ‘Unlikely journeys: adversity, agency and change in a 19th century Irish family’ by Ursula Howard
  • 'Adults reading aloud: memory, voice, transformation' by Sam Duncan
  • ‘Children’s writing in the 1960s and 1970s – experience, imagination and agency’ by Tom Woodin

This event will be particularly useful for anyone with an interest in literacy education, policy and research.

No registration required.

ILC seminar series

The International Literacy Centre (ILC) hosts a termly seminar series where researchers, practitioners, and those with an interest in literacy education, policy, and practice across the lifespan can come together to discuss current issues in the field. The seminars are free and open to the general public.

Related links

About the Speakers

Ursula Howard

Former Visiting Professorial Fellow and Director at the NRDC (National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy & Numeracy)

Dr Sam Duncan

Associate Professor of Adult Education and Literacies at UCL IOE

More about Dr Sam Duncan

Professor Tom Woodin

Professor of the Social History of Education at UCL IOE

More about Professor Tom Woodin